Wheat hedge talks still “in the early stages”?
** #5 Wheat hedge talks still “in the early stages”? Egypt’s talks with international banks about a potential hedge against volatility in global wheat prices are not that advanced and remain “in the early stages,” an unnamed government source said yesterday, Reuters reports. The source downplayed the progress the government has made so far on the program, saying there is no deadline for completing talks and that the government is only “surveying, taking presentations, not more than that.” Supply Ministry aide Ibrahim El Ashmawy had told Enterprise earlier this week that Egypt is in “serious” negotiations with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and an unnamed Kuwaiti lender about the wheat hedging program. According to El Ashmawy, the wheat hedge could be a trial balloon for a wider program to hedge against rises in the prices of key commodities Egypt imports. The wheat hedging program mimics a fuel hedge the Finance Ministry had reportedly been mulling, but seems to be on the back burner for now.